UNV Executive Coordinator, Olivier Adam, with Ag. Vice Chancellor, Mount Kenya University, Prof. Peter Wanderi during the MoU signing event

First agreement to deploy UN University Volunteers in the East and Southern Africa region

Today, the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme and Mount Kenya University, a chartered premier university operating in East Africa, signed a partnership to provide volunteering opportunities for students from the University as United Nations (UN) University Volunteers. This is the first UN University Volunteer agreement in Kenya and in the East and Southern African region. The signatures under the agreement were delivered by Mr. Olivier Adam, UNV Executive Coordinator and Prof. Peter Wanderi, Ag.Vice-Chancellor of Mount Kenya University.

The main goal of the partnership is to enhance the capacity and engagement of youth from the region as key actors of change in global development issues. Selected number of Mount Kenya University students will be deployed annually- for up to six months in various UN agencies in Kenya as UN University Volunteers to apply their knowledge and skills in several areas of UN peace and development work. On 28th March 2019, the Executive Coordinator of the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme, Mr. Olivier Adam, delivered a public lecture at Mount Kenya University main campus in Thika, Kenya, titled “Building Partnerships Between Universities and Volunteerism for SDGs achievement In East Africa”.

" Volunteerism is not only a way to contribute and do good, it also empowers people and lets them learn and build the individual skills the market is looking for. Volunteerism gives people strength, skills and confidence to create a market for themselves, become entrepreneurs or start their own organizations," the UNV Executive Coordinator Mr. Olivier Adam said during the signing ceremony at the University’s headquarters in Thika, Kenya.

Prof .Peter Wanderi,   Ag.Vice- Chancellor, Mount Kenya University emphasized the key role of partnerships in promotion of Higher Education and encouraged students and community at large to participate in volunteerism. ”The formalization of our engagement with United Nations Volunteers today creates yet another opportunity for our students to gain practical experience by becoming volunteers in United Nations entities and activities” Prof. Peter wanderi. The implementation of the programme at Mount Kenya University will be spearheaded by Mount Kenya University Foundation.

The UNV programme will benefit Mount Kenya University students through;

  • Promotion of volunteerism among students .The students will be exposed to resources at UN organizations e.g. Libraries, facilitators for public lectures
  • Opportunites for the University students to become UN volunteers in UN organizations.
  • Enhanced cooperation on joint events and activities that serve the purpose of professional development and exposure of MKU students to the UN system

UN Youth Volunteers are a separate category of UN Volunteers created in response to the United Nations Secretary-General’s call in the year 2012 for greater engagement in volunteerism of history’s largest generation of people under 30. A total of 486 UN Youth Volunteers have served in the region since the inception of the programme, with Kenya leading as host country over the years. Among them, 37 were University Youth Volunteers. These volunteers serve in different areas of development, humanitarian and peace-building assignments. With this agreement, the UNV East and Southern Regional Office hopes to engage more youth from the region to meet the increasing requests from UN agencies to integrate young women’s and men’s creative and flexible approaches for the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).


Notes to editors:


For more information and interviews please contact:

Kevin Ochieng, Communications Associate, United Nations Volunteers programme, kevin.ochieng@unv.org


About the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme

The United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme contributes to peace and development through volunteerism worldwide. We work with partners to integrate qualified, highly motivated and well supported UN Volunteers into development programming and promote the value and global recognition of volunteerism.


For more information go to: www.unv.org  and follow us on Twitter @UNV_ESARO and @UNVolunteers and on Facebook at UNV ESARO and UN Volunteers

About Mount Kenya University go to www.mku.ac.ke  and follow us on Twitter @Mount KenyaUni and on Facebook Mount Kenya University